I was going to see Paul van Dyk but I wasn’t planning on reviewing the show — I want to keep these reviews focused on local DJs. I wasn’t even going to show up until eleven or midnight. But then I heard that Aurean had snagged the opening set at 9pm so I had to be there.
Aurean is a duo: Nick and Jake. They were both part of Tortoise and the Snare so I never reviewed them to avoid any semblance of conflict of interest even though they’ve been a growing presence in DC. About time I did that, then.
I got to Echostage just as the doors were opening so I caught their whole set — only an hour, but it was great. Solid trance, which was exactly what I wanted. The early audience was a little thin of course but they were enjoying it. A random person even asked if I knew who they were because she wanted to follow up on them, so I was glad to fill her in.
Here’s the sample playlist, chock full of low-hit tracks that deserve some love:
After having my appetite for trance whetted so well, the rest of the night was unfortunately disappointing. Things turned over into what will probably be hot on the festival circuit this summer and while there’s nothing wrong with that… I felt like it was a bit of bait-and-switch. Even when Paul van Dyk finally came on, he stuck to a pretty hard-edged version of trance and didn’t play any of his classic tracks. All I got was a few heavily remixed bars of “Time of our Lives.”
So I left well reminded of why I only go to Echostage a few times a year. That, and my bar tab. Yikes.
Welcome back to a very special Thanksgiving edition of the DC House Grooves Weekend Round Up. You’ll notice that our banner is a little bit different this week:DC House Grooves, along with many other crews in DC, is offering promotional support to the the DanceSafe DC Happy Hour at U Street Music Hall on December 10 with DJs Lisa Frank, Christian Dope and Seba Yuri. All proceeds from the party will go towards supporting the charity DanceSafe, a nonprofit, harm reduction organization promoting health, safety, and educational information on drugs. DC House Grooves fully supports this cause, and we hope our readers can make it to U Street Music Hall on December 10 to dance with us and raise some money. Cover is a $5 donation, which also gets you free entry to Tube & Berger at U Hall that same night. Donate more if you can!
So what about last weekend? We stayed in Thursday night to save our energy for Friday, but we heard Tirzah made an impressive debut at Lost on Thursdays. Wish we could have made it! Definitely one to watch. We would have loved to have made it to Dubtribe Sound System at Flash on Friday to hear Chadwick and Juan Zapata doing their thing in the main room, but instead we headed up to Jimmy Valentine’s to check out Degenerate with Ron Jackson and Darius Twin. We got there early and the crowd was fairly light, but we heard some great sounds from Ron Jackson. Definitely another upcoming local to check out if you get the chance. Next stop was Midnight Project with Jan Krueger, which didn’t disappoint. R&B played yet another very special set, then Jan broke out the vinyl and did his thing. We really loved the underground vibe at the venue, although the place got uncomfortably full for a while there, and the sound system and lighting weren’t quite up to scratch. We love the concept, and we’re looking forward to more from the Midnight Project crew. Add some subs to the sound, make the lighting a little less static, add a cloak room and maybe don’t pack it so full, and you’ll have a close to perfect underground party.
Saturday night we were at Flash Resident’s Night with Navbox, Edo and Philip Goyette on the main floor, and our Body Werk party with Andy Grant and Raffi in the Flash Bar. There was a great crowd at Flash, and Andy and Raffi had the bar jumping all night long. The great news is that we recorded it: you can check it out here:
Our next Body Werk party is in the Flash Bar on Thurdsday December 11 with Andy Grant and Joe L (Bump’n’Grind / Push), then we follow it up on December 13 with our next monthly night at DC9 Night Club, with Andy Grant and Aaron Sparks(Push) in the main room, and Kochi (iNK House / Sugar Shack Recordings) up on the rooftop. Hope you can join us!
Our only regret on Saturday is that we didn’t make it up to the Paradox in Baltimore for Happy Birthday Teddy Douglas feat Crystal Waters and Jasper St. Co. and Basement Boys Reunion, but when we wrapped at Flash, we just couldn’t face the drive to Baltimore. This was a line up to die for, and those that did make it reported that it was an incredible night. Oh well, we can’t make it up to the Paradox every time, and we’re sure there will be many more sick line ups at the Paradox in future!
Ok, so time to dive into the picks for Thanksgiving weekend. Looking a little quiet this weekend, which is probably a good thing after all the craziness last weekend! If you plan on attending an event, click through to the Facebook event page, click Join to let the promoters know you’re in, then click Invite and invite your friends.
Our top pick for Wednesday night is Flashgiving Eve at Flash with Guti (LiVE), Evan Baggs (Kurbits Records | Berlin/NYC), and Sarah Myers on the main floor, with the Cadence Local Showcase in the Flash Bar with DJ Rubble, DJ Illogic, Ramiro / RaveKilla, Rob-One and DJ Seven. Quality deep tech housey business on the main floor, with a killer line up of local drum and bass DJs in the Flash Bar. Sounds like a great combination to us! We recommend getting there early for Sarah Myers’ set. The bar opens at 8pm. Advanced tickets are available from Ticketfly , $10 first release, $15 second release. Still some first release tickets available if you move fast.
If you’re looking for something a little more intimate with a great local line up, check out Anonymous Thanksgiving with Doktor D, Easy G., Pacific Fur Company, and Ron Jackson at Dr. Clock’s Nowhere Bar in Adams Morgan, which promises a night of house, techno and other electronic music. These guys are passionate about what they do, so expect a varied mix of beats to keep you moving. There’s no cover and no dress code. Come as you are and enjoy a night of deep grooves.
Digital Harvest: An All Vinyl Funk/House evening at the 8×10, Baltimore
Our final pick for Thanksgiving Eve is Digital Harvest: an All Vinyl Funk / House Evening in Baltimore, with Mikie Love, Paul Palumbo and Graham Hatke serving up fine funk and house classics fresh from the vinyl. Full support to any event promising all vinyl, all night! We’re not familiar with the full lineup, but Graham Hatke always delivers the goods. Advanced tickets at $10 from MissionTix.
So turns out Flash is open on Thanksgiving, offering us all a chance at escape after a day from the family and work of those Turkey Day calories ; and a great lineup they’ve got too, with Chus & Ceballos and Omar Karim in the main room, with David Merrill in the Flash Bar. Advanced tickets are available for $15 from Ticketfly.
So I’m sure after a couple of days with the family, you’ll be itching to get out there and cut loose. Our top pick for Friday is Back in the Day featuring DJ Dan, Baggadonuts, Buster and Ray Casil at U Street Music Hall. This looks like a proper old school reunion, and promises classic house all night long. It’s free before 11pm for 21+, probably around $10 after. Entry for 18 to 20 with advanced ticket only. Grab your advanced tickets for $10 from Ticketfly. Ray Casil is always worth checking out, so we recommend getting there early.
If some proper soulful house is more to your taste, head up to Zeba Bar for A Musical Obsession pt 2 – The Black Friday Edition with Klubnut resident Ernest Fountain and special guest DJ Mark Moultrie. The Klubnut guys really know their house music, and there’s always a great atmosphere at Zeba. Best of all, there’s no cover. Music starts at 10pm, and all black attire is requested.
Our final pick for Friday is Freaky Friday at Flash with Behrouz returning for his Flash residency,along with returning local boy Prab K and Marko Peli on the main floor, with the familiar sounding #BodyFeel (Coby Jones & Friends) in the Flash Bar. We’ve not heard Behrouz play before, but people seem to like him. We recommend getting there early for Marko and Prab. Advanced tickets are $10 from Ticketfly, more on the door.
Top pick for Saturday is Benoit & Sergio (Live) at Flash supported by Solomon Sanchez, with DUSK in the Flash Bar, featuring DJ Soul, Mitch Jr. and Keith Miller. We’re not the biggest fans of Benoit & Sergio’s “sexualized melodrama”, but Solomon Sanchez is always worth hearing, and the Dusk crew know their house music. Early bird advanced tickets are still available for $5 from Ticketfly, second release are $10, third release are $15, more on the door. The faster you move, the cheaper it is.
Our next pick for Saturday is Eighteenth Street Lounge with Philip Goyette and Chris Nitti in the Gold Room, Caleb L’Etoile and Remote Ctrl in the Main Room and Disco Odyssey with Farid and Bonkerz out on the patio. Philip Goyette and Chris Nitti make for a great combination in the Gold Room, and with great things happening in the Main Room and on the Patio, you’ve got plenty to choose from all under one roof. Always a drinking crowd at ESL, so a great option if you’re getting your booze on on Saturday.
Our final, somewhat hesitant, pick for Saturday is Glow Presents Deep Dish supported by Rob Garza from Thievery Corporation at Echostage. We wouldn’t usually cover the sort of EDM nonsense that goes on at Echostage, but Deep Dish playing together again in their home town is kind of a big deal, albeit not particularly underground. We used to be the biggest fans of Deep Dish from the early days of their blockbuster remix of Hideaway by De’lacy through their releases on Deep Dish Recordings, Tribal and Yoshitoshi, right up to Stay Gold on Deconstruction, and in the mid to late nineties, we would regularly go see them in the back room of State of the Union on U Street. They lost us when they started remixing Madonna, Dido and the Rolling Stones and winning Grammys etc. We live in hope that they’ll return to their pure house roots, but sadly we’re guessing Ali and Sharam will likely deliver a mix of generic prog house and bland big room techno. Combine that with the soulless vacuum that is Echostage, and we predict a recipe for disappointment. Maybe worth it if you want the Echostage experience with something not quite so offensive as their usual musical line up. Advanced tickets are a steep $30 + fees from Wanttickets. 18+. If you decide to go, please send us a full report.
Wrapping up the weekend, our top pick for Sunday is Church a Sunday Affair on the Pubic Bar rooftop, the winter season rooftop party from the same crew that brings us Sunglass Sundays. This week they’ve got Malphunktion& DJ Amp playing a 4 hour set, with local support from LJ MTX, Juan Zapata and Ramiro. We had a lot of fun at Church a couple of weeks ago, and we expect this week’s edition to be no different. We always love a line up that features Juan Zapata closing out the night! Free until 6pm, $10 after, although you’ll get in for $5 if you can show you’ve liked Church and Sunglass Sundays on Facebook. Be there for Juan’s set; you won’t regret it.
For our last pick for Sunday, get yourself down to Eighteenth Street Lounge to close out your Thanksgiving Weekend with some proper soulful house at Sam Burns’ Underground Soul Solution in the Gold Room, with Bil Todd in the Main Room. They’ll have the usual $5 drinks specials from 9pm to 11pm, and a great crowd of heads closing out their weekend to Sam’s exceptional selections.
That wraps it up for our Thanksgiving Weekend picks, so let’s look at the full listings of all the best underground deep house and electronic music events in Washington DC from Wednesday to Sunday. While we’ve picked out the events we think are best, there are so many more events to choose from, so make sure you scroll through the full list. Remember to click through to the Facebook event pages for more details, and don’t forget to click Join and invite your friends if you plan on attending.
Wednesday November 26
Flashgiving Eve: Guti (LiVE), Evan Baggs (Kurbits Records | Berlin/NYC), Sarah Myers at Flash + Cadence Local Showcase in the Flash Bar
And that’s it for our special Thanksgiving edition of the DC House Grooves Weekend Round Up. Don’t forget, for your pre- and post- game sound track, tune into DC House Grooves radio for quality underground house music from Washington, DC based DJs streaming 24/7:
If you want your event considered for inclusion in the weekend round up, please message us through the DC House Grooves Facebook page. Only underground house or electronic music events will be considered. Also, we’d welcome your constructive feedback on the DC House Grooves round up. If you’ve got an comments or suggestions, please send us a message through the DC House Grooves Facebook Page.